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Re: Rounding off of discussions

Jun 30, 1996 09:33 AM
by RIhle

>Martin writes>
>My disturbance has been mainly with the division 'core'-theosophists
>vs. 'process'-theosophists because you have at least implicitly equated
>'core'-theosophists with dogmatic believers and the other category
>as 'experientalists'.

Richard Ihle writes>
Martin, first let me say that I think you have been doing a fine job with
your writings on theos-l.  I have not jumped into the "process-theosophy"
discussion because, as often seems to be the case, I occupy some murky middle
ground which can easily attract enemies from either side.

My basic view is that the "core teachings" are important ~precisely because~
they are a product of theosophy--"knowledge which is derived, at least
originally, by means of transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight or
higher perception."  Some subjects cannot be approached in any other way.
 Your "Seven Jewels" piece is as good a summary of these subjects as I have
ever seen--nice work.

So, we have identified some traditional theosophical subjects, and we have
also identified some reputed theosophical knowledge about these subjects--the
core teachings, or at least HPB's version of the core teachings.

Things could perhaps proceed more easily from this point were they not
clouded by a little "side issue":  the circumstance that the core teachings
have been allowed to become known as ~Theosophy~.  They could be called "The
Principal Theosophical Teachings," "The Theosophical Philosophy," or
something else; however, the "core people" and others continue to refer to
specific doctrine as ~Theosophy~ and are seemingly not over-concerned with
the lexical confusion this creates with the universal (Theo-Sophia) and the
name of the organization/movement.

And those are just the little problems.  The big problem is that by making
~T/theosophy~ a synonym for selected doctrine, it diminishes or erases its
utility as an epistemological term.  First and foremost, ~theosophy~ should
be known as a philosophic word which refers to the valid category of
knowledge which (again) "derives, at least originally, by means of
transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight or higher perception."

Without this initial recognition of theosophy as a possibly valid
epistemology, the entirety of THE SECRET DOCTRINE could easily be dismissed
as mere speculation--after all, the knowledge contained within it was not
produced by HPB or her "Masters" staying up all night doing material-science

Yes, theosophy in the epistemological sense definitely involves a "process,"
but this, I believe, is more a general process of personal transformation
proceeding pari passu with improving Self-awareness rather than something
which comes from specific experimentation with its possible ancillary
fruits--psychic, magical, etc. abilities.  Direct apprehension of the truth
is the result of the  theosophical process.  Clear seeing is the result of
the theosophical process.  Ineffable Buddhic certainty is the result of the
theosophical process.

Are the people who talk the most about process-theosophy necessarily the
furthest along in the process?  Are the most admirable scholars of the core
teachings in actual personal possession of very much theosophical knowledge

Just a couple of things ~not~ to think about on holiday, Martin. . . .


Richard Ihle

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